29 September 2008

Volunteering to do math

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago

In keeping with the spirit of my list, I volunteered tonight at the Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago. And for my extra delight, it was close to where I work and near my bus line home. Score!

So after work, I put did a “Mr. Rogers” by changing into my tennis shoes and headed over, totally unsure of what I would be doing. When I walked in, a group of volunteers was waiting to be taken back with me to be at the mercy of the organizers…who were nice enough to provide snacks and water/beer. Who can say no to that?
Time literally flew by and I had to force myself to leave at 8:45 p.m. because, oh yeah I have to work tomorrow! But while I was there, I helped sort mail, log donations and practice my addition/subtraction skills with those donations too. While I was sorting through the mail, there were a few “aww” moments, such as letters from kids, and a surprising number of letters/donations from overseas too. But for every “aww” letter, there is always a puzzling, WTF letter too. I even saw some done on a…typewriter. So odd and archaic.
Trust me, campaign headquarters are not like they are on the “West Wing,” but the energy in the office, including watching people work from any hard surface, such as the floor, and seeing staffers in the “phone booths” was pretty cool. And it was nice to say I was part of it. I’ll definitely be going back to help out.
This will likely not shock you, but I’m a Democrat. But this post isn’t about going back and forth on the issues and telling you all why I’m choosing to vote for Obama over McCain. I just wanted to share my evening out with everyone. And I’m not going to preach too you about my political choice, but I will say this, learn both candidates positions on the issues affecting us now and go vote in November. And taking my own advice, I need to look into registering to vote in Illinois.
In closing, I share my favorite “Daily Show” clip from the 2004 DNC with my favorite guy, Stephen Colbert. I hope you find it humorous too. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.
Note: Apparently the video from the “Daily Show” would not embed on this site very well. Sigh. So instead I’m including a link to the Comedy Central Web site to check out the video. Hopefully this will work because it’s really funny.


  1. EP says:

    Good for you for going and volunteering there! It sounds like it was an interesting adventure. And it makes me wonder if there is a place here that I can volunteer at. (I’m going to venture to say ‘No’ since MS is a deep red state, but who knows?)

  2. dolcechic says:

    You go girl! We need more people like you to stand up for what they believe in. Sounds like you had a great time. I’m proud of you!!!!!

  3. Maki says:

    Go Jess! Go Obama!

  4. SA says:

    Sounds like you had a good night. I would love to work for a campaign. Maybe next presidential election. You can go to Obama’s site (and for Republicans you can go to McCain’s site) or Rock the Vote to register. You fill out the form, print, and mail it in. Down here in SC there are places set up this week to register to vote since the deadline for our state is this Saturday. I’m sure Illinois will have the same thing near their voter registration deadline. In case you didn’t want to print and mail your stuff in (you have to send in either your DL# or SSN depending on the state).

    I totally remember that Colbert segment on TDS when it aired. “Arabtino” and “That doesn’t sound like unity to me” gets me every time.

  5. CC says:

    Good for you for volunteering! Plus it sounds like a fun/cool way to learn more about the candidate and meet new people.

  6. Megkathleen says:

    Good for you! I tried to volunteer, but at the time they just wanted people to go door to door and I was really nervous about that. I should try again because I would really like to do a similar thing to what you did.

  7. Ashley says:

    The kids at my after school program sent him letters in February.

    We got a reply – and they were so confused “Why is he talking about oil? It has nothing to do with our letters!”

    So we taught them about mass replies. :)

  8. Cheryl says:

    It’s not like the West Wing? I am so not being political ever again… ;)

    Um, you have to be registered 30 days before the election, so don’t take this the wrong way, but get on it!

  9. jess@thehomebound says:

    I’m glad you volunteered. I plan to do some stuff here too.

    Sad note: my Obama sign got stolen out of my yard this weekend. In fact, every one in our neighborhood did (30 or so). Doesn’t that suck?!

  10. Lauren says:

    That’s awesome! I salute you for helping Obama!

  11. cm. says:

    oh wow, go you! the local HQ called my parents house (an address i have NEVER lived at) asking if i’d like to volunteer. my mom took down their # but i don’t think i’m going to (i’ve gone some, uh, social issues i need to get over). as much as i believe in obama. so i shall live vicariously though you.

  12. surviving myself says:

    Did you see Triumph the Insult Dog at the convention? That skit is hilarious.

  13. Katelin says:

    that’s so cool you volunteered there, west wingish or not, haha.

  14. bodelou says:

    http://www.moveon.org will give you help on registering. it will actually fill out the forms for you!

  15. Nilsa S. says:

    Awesome that you volunteered! If I wasn’t in the home stretch to my wedding, I’d consider volunteering, too. Instead, I’m just going to have to live vicariously through you. Thanks!

  16. Anonymous Amy says:

    awww this sounds like a really rewarding experience. I just went to our headquarters to volunteer last week but haven’t received “the call” yet. =)
    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  17. Heidi Renée says:

    Aw, that reminds me of my days at the Michigan Democratic Party. Good times, good times.

  18. Alexa says:

    there are really phone booths?!?

  19. Ashley D says:

    That’s so cool that you volunteered. It reminds me of Across the Universe, ha. It sounds like a good experience too. How fun!

  20. Stephanie says:

    Don’t tease me with Colbert goodness, and lead me to a place where the video doesn’t work.

    It sounds like you had a great time. You better get to it with registering! The other day I made sure to sign up for an absentee ballot. I didn’t realize how close we are to voting!

  21. Mandy says:

    Good for you for volunteering to make a difference. I’ve done work behind the scenes on both a local and national level, its not all glitz and glamor, but its definitely a neccessity!

    The video didn’t work for me either. :-(

  22. goodwillprevail says:

    Its simple, go towards the light, vote Democrat!

  23. widget says:

    With everything going on in your country at the moment, I am fascinated by this Presidential election. I have never been so glued to what is happening – I have always been interested, but as it is not my country no so focused. Now is such a different feel.

    We had this on our television last week which was amazing.


  24. LJ says:

    Wow thats cool of you! Whats a typewriter :)

  25. thegoodnamesaretaken says:

    That sounds like a good experience. I once called people for the Democrats and swore to never do it again but your job didn’t sound too bad.

  26. Teresa Chou says:

    Yay – it was fun volunteering with you!! Totally opened my eyes to all of the really important behind the scenes stuff that makes all the rest of it possible. That and it totes reawakened my love of shredding old mail :P Let’s do it again sometime! ~T

  27. LBluca77 says:

    Sounds like you had a great experience volunteering. Good for you.

  28. Rachel says:

    Boooo the video didn’t work for me.

    Good for you for helping out, glad it was a good experience!

  29. Maxie says:

    That sounds awesome– I stopped volunteering at the Obama office here because they were forcing us to encourage people to vote for a few candidates that I don’t support… so I bailed. But what they have to doing sounds like it’s really fun. GOBAMA!

  30. Princess Pointful says:

    Good for you, lady :). It sounds interesting to see the behind the scenes, glamourous or not!